Darkthrone - F.O.A.D.
Peaceville Records
Punk / Black Metal
9 songs (40:23)
Release year: 2007
Darkthrone, Peaceville Records
Reviewed by Dylan
These guys really don’t need any introduction. Highly influential and important to the legacy of Norwegian black metal, Darkthrone’s history and discography has been documented on every metal site worth its ip address. So with that, it’s time for my confession: I found Transylvanian Hunger boring. I tried, I really did try to get it, but I just couldn’t. The title track of that legendary album had a really cool main riff, but other than that, it just didn’t really hit any sort of nerve in me. Maybe my epiphany will come sometime in the near future; maybe it won’t come at all. However, I did find a lot to like in 2006’s The Cult Is Alive. That snarling punk attitude, the raw but loud production, and the occasional bit of humor laced here and there resonated with me much more than anything the band has done in a while. Darkthrone must have felt the same way, for they have incorporated even more of the hardcore punk sound onto F.O.A.D.

There is a sort of irreverent atmosphere about this album. Granted, the band has never really been one to care what the hell any of their fans, detractors, or bystanders think, Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are just in this for themselves. F.O.A.D. (an acronym for Fuck Off And Die) also has a very laid back feel to it, like the band loaded their garage with cartons of cigarettes, tons of booze, and had a good time. The opening track, These Shores Are Damned even begins with Fenriz chuckling, giving his drumsticks the old 1-2-3-4 click to set things off, and ripping through a great opening track of punk-influenced black metal. Nocturno Culto’s voice sounds absolutely washed in alcohol (or some sort of liquid), and he comes off sounding like a bitter, pissed-off hermit who caught some hapless fuckers trespassing in his cold, grey forest.

As you would expect, the riffs here are composed of some harsh power chords. However, the tempos aren’t really harsh at all. There was nary a blastbeat to be found on the album, but more than enough downbeat goodness to revel in. In fact, there are two crawlers on the album worth mentioning: the low-fi anthem of The Church of Real Metal and the closing track Wisdom of the Dead. Both of them are done quite well, though the latter has the humorous lyrics and vocal style of Fenriz (I’m laughing with him, not at him) that makes it one of the standout tracks on the album. Fenriz also happens to handle lead vocal duties more than Nocturno Culto on this album, appearing in five out of the nine tracks as lead vocalist. Realizing he doesn’t have that demonic rasp that Nocturno Culto happens to posses, the Darkthrone drummer opts for a much more intelligible style that gives the album a little more humor that tracks like Graveyard Slut from the previous album provided.

The more I listen to it, the less F.O.A.D. sounds like a black metal album. A more accurate description is a record that is sometimes punk and sometimes straight up rock with black metal sensibilities. For the most part, it works. Songs like These Shores Are Damned and Pervertor of the 7 Gates are about as close as the album gets to that old-fashioned black metal Darkthrone is known for. While there is a lot to like in the bands looser, rock-oriented sound found on this record, I was let down a little by the lack of a real ANGRY track. The Cult is Alive has more similarities with this record than anything before it, but it still had tracks like Whiskey Funeral and De Underjordiske to keep the venom up. This is one of the band's most accessible albums to date (relativley speaking), but I would still have to be in the mood for it, as it is quite one-dimensional. Fans of the band who enjoyed The Cult Is Alive should definitely pick this one up if they already haven’t. Fans still hoping for something sonically akin to the unholy trinity of the early nineties should get real. Newcomers should pick those up before getting this one. Everyone else can just F.O.A.D.
Killing Songs :
These Shores Are Damned, The Church of Real Metal, F.O.A.D., and Raised on Rock.
Dylan quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Darkthrone that we have reviewed:
Darkthrone - Old Star reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Darkthrone - Arctic Thunder reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Darkthrone - The Cult Is Alive reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Darkthrone - Plaguewielder reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
To see all 19 reviews click here
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